Kesler a truly super All-Star this season

Ryan Kesler is a Selke Trophy candidate.

It was 10 minutes till 10 on a Thursday night. The best team in the National Hockey League had just lost 1-0 to the Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

One of the NHL’s premier two-way forwards stood in front of three reporters. He had a Superman logo tattooed on his right arm — the ‘S’ inside the shield was replaced by a ‘K.’

On a roster populated by stars, Ryan Kesler may be the Vancouver Canucks’ most indispensable player.

Routinely a leading candidate to win the Selke Trophy, Kesler — who will play in his first-ever NHL All-Star Game on Sunday in Raleigh, N.C. — has 27 goals and 20 assists for 47 points this year.

It’s been a great individual season by any measurable standard for the All-Star. Did he think this was possible?

“Sure,” Kesler said. “Every year I strive to get better. This year is no different. I think I’ve improved every year offensively since I’ve been in the league so it doesn’t surprise me at all.”

Kesler will be an alternate captain on Team Staal in Sunday’s game. He’s joined by captain Eric Staal of the hometown Carolina Hurricanes and defenseman Mike Green of the Washington Capitals.

Feeling a draft

THE DEAL:
The NHL is picking teams for Sunday’s 2011 All-Star Game in a playground style fantasy draft Friday night (8 p.m., VERSUS). Eric Staal and Nick Lidstrom are the captains. Twelve rookies, including Tyler Seguin, will compete in the skills competition Saturday.

RULES:
The first pick will be decided by a coin toss. Goalies must be picked by the end of the 10th round; defensemen must go by the end of the 15th.

ANALYSIS:
You have to assume Alex Ovechkin will go first overall, regardless of who has the pick. Cam Ward, the goalie for the hometown Carolina Hurricanes, will surely be a hot item. Rangers D Marc Staal should end up on his brother’s team. Other than him, nobody cares about defensemen.

Tampa Bay C Steven Stamkos leads the NHL with 67 points at the break. Sidney Crosby, who will not play, is second with 66.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

No criminal charges in fatal gun range shooting…

County law enforcement officials in Arizona said on Thursday no criminal charges are pending after a probe into a gun range incident in which a 9-year-old girl fatally shot her…

National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

International

North Korean leader's money manager defects in Russia:…

A senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Jong Un has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country, a South Korean newspaper…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…